99% Invisible: When Patent Violators Strike Back
Before the 1850s, dentures were made out of very hard, very painful and very expensive material, like gold or ivory. They were a luxury item. The invention of Vulcanite hard rubber changed everything. Everyone began making dentures with Vulcanite bases. But in 1864, a long disputed patent application was acquired by the Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company, an outfit created to collect fees, or very often, sue dentists who already used vulcanite. And there were plenty of dentists to go after.
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